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How to Get Musty Smell Out of RVs and Cottages

Is there anything better than opening up the cottage or RV for another summer season? It’s sheer bliss… except for that danged musty or stuffy smell after several months of disuse.

Breathe easy. You don't have to live with that damp, humid smell any longer. Here are some proven ways to get your cottage or RV smelling summer-fresh in no time. Here’s what you do.

Step 1: Locate the source of the musty smell

To get rid of any unwanted odor, the first step is always to figure out what's causing it. Otherwise, the smell will probably keep coming back. And keep in mind that different causes may require different fixes.

Musty smells can develop for all sorts of reasons in a cottage or RV. It could be a new water leak you haven’t yet discovered, or some past water damage that wasn’t fully addressed. Or perhaps that musty or stuffy smell is simply due to the fact that your cottage or RV has closed up for several months.

Step 2: Fix the source of the musty smell

Once you've identified the source the smell, fix the problem so that the smell won't keep coming back. Depending on the issue, you may need to remove some materials to prevent bacteria from spreading. You'll also need to treat all absorbent surfaces that smell musty – such as rough/untreated wood, metal, plywood, walls, floors, ceilings, cabinets, fabrics, carpets, furniture and even the ambient air (we explain how below).


Having trouble pinpointing the exact source of the musty smell? Start by treating the ambient air in the room. It will make locating the odor easier.

Step 3: Get rid of the lingering musty smell

Now that you’ve fixed the problem, getting rid of the lingering musty smell will be easy – provided you use the right product. Keep in mind that most products sold in stores simply mask or deodorize odors. Or worse: they add another scent on top of the odor, creating a nauseating blend. Sure, you might forget about the original odor for a day or two, but eventually, it will become noticeable again.

To completely eliminate stubborn odors for good, you need a product that contains an odor neutralizer that’s specific to the molecule behind the odor.

Why use Purodora Lab products?

Purodora Lab products contain proven odor neutralizing technology based on decades of laboratory research and real-world use.

Our wide range of odor neutralizers eliminate the most stubborn odors in and around the home (including the car, RV, cottage, barn, and more). As soon as our products come into contact with the source of the odor, they bind to the odor-causing molecules to neutralize them permanently.

Unwanted odors disappear completely and permanently in just a few seconds – even if they have been embedded in carpets, mattresses, walls, floors, etc. for years.

We have THE SOLUTION for getting rid of stubborn odor problems in your cottage or RV. See our recommended products and step-by-step instructions below.

The right technique for getting rid of musty smells

You’ll need:

Eliminating musty smell from hard surfaces

If your entire RV smells musty but there's no water leak, start by cleaning all hard interior surfaces such as cabinets, counters, floors, walls, etc.

Use: Damp Odor Neutralizer

Why use Purodora Damp Odor Neutralizer:

  • It removes musty/damp smells in your home, cottage, RV, basement, car, boat, etc.
  • It eliminates odors instantly on contact, but also doubles as a great surface cleaner.
  • It’s safe to use on concrete, rough wood, plywood, carpets, walls, ceilings, etc.
  • It’s easy to use. Simply dilute and spray; no rinsing required. Let surface air dry.
  • It leaves behind a fresh peach scent.

To eliminate musty smells on hard surfaces such as floors, cabinets, walls, etc.: 

  1. Dilute 120 ml of Damp Odor Neutralizer in 1 gallon (4 L) of warm water.
  2. Clean surface with a soft cloth or mop. (For rough wood, plywood and metal: Spray surface with diluted product).
  3. Allow surface to allow to air dry. No rinsing required. 

Now that you've tackled the hard surfaces, you're ready to treat the fabric and upholstered surfaces. 

Eliminating musty smell from fabric surfaces

Use: Purodora Smoke Odor Neutralizer for Fabrics

Why use Purodora Smoke Odor Neutralizer for Fabrics:

  • It removes musty/damp smells from upholstered furniture, fabrics and even the ambient air.
  • It also eliminates smoke odors from cigarettes and cigars (as the name suggests!).
  • It eliminates odors instantly on contact.
  • It’s safe for use on virtually all fabric surfaces in your home, cottage, RV, boat, car, etc., such as carpets, clothes, sofas, mattresses, cushions, etc.
  • It’s easy to use. Simply spray and let surface air dry; no rinsing required.
  • It's alcohol-based, which means it dries quickly. Unlike water-based products, it won’t leave stains or cause fabrics and cushions to mildew.
  • It leaves a lovely peach and sandalwood scent in the air for several hours after use.

To eliminate a musty or damp smell from upholstered furniture and fabric surfaces such as couches, cushions, mattresses, curtains, blankets, etc.:

  1. Spray Smoke Odor Neutralizer for Fabrics on directly on fabrics.
  2. Allow to air dry; no rinsing required.

Treating a thick cushion, seat or mattress and the musty smell persists after the first spray? Try a second spray. If that doesn't do the trick, it means the odor has penetrated deep into the padding.

  • Simply inject the product directly into the center of the mattress, cushion or seat with a syringe and needle.
  • Inject the product every couple of inches to ensure it reaches the entire source of the smell.
  • You may need to make several injections, but it WILL work!

Eliminating musty smell from carpets

Use: Purodora Damp Odor Neutralizer

  1. Dilute 120 ml of Damp Odor Neutralizer in 1 gallon (4 L) of warm water and clean carpet thoroughly with a carpet cleaner.
  2. Dry carpet with a fan.

Eliminating musty smell from ambient air

Musty smells can also linger in the ambient air of a cottage or RV. They can even get embedded in the plastic of the ventilation ducts. Here’s what you do.

Use: Damp Odor Neutralizer and/or Smoke Odor Neutralizer for Fabrics

Eliminating musty smell in ambient air in a cottage or RV

  1. Dilute 120 ml of Damp Odor Neutralizer in 1 gallon (4 L) of warm water.
  2. Wet a clean cloth with the dilution and hang it over a table or floor fan.
  3. Run the fan for one hour in the musty-smelling room to disperse the product in the air.
  4. Repeat the process as needed in other rooms.

Eliminating musty smell in cottage ventilation ducts

  1. Dilute 120 ml of Damp Odor Neutralizer in 1 gallon (4 L) of warm water.
  2. Spray the air conditioning or air exchange filters with the diluted Damp Odor Neutralizer.
  3. Immediately reinstall filters (while still wet with dilution) and run the AC or air exchanger for 1 hour to disperse the product throughout the system.

Eliminating musty smell in RV ventilation ducts

  1. Spray the driver and front passenger carpeted floor mats with Smoke Odor Neutralizer for Fabrics.
  2. Turn on the heater or air conditioner and allow to run for 2-3 minutes to disperse the product throughout the RV.

When using odor neutralizers to treat small spaces like an RV, it can be helpful to open the windows.

Get more bang for your buck with multi-purpose odor destroyers

The last thing anyone needs is yet another product they might only use once. Purodora products are designed to eliminate specific odors, but can also be used for a wide range of purposes in your home, car, boat, etc.

Smoke Odor Neutralizer for Fabrics also eliminates dog, cigarette and farm smells.
Damp Odor Neutralizer also cleans and neutralizes odors in boat carpets.

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